If you did a bad job for a client, would you be happy for them to let you know where you went wrong? Do you seek client feedback or would you prefer not to know?
I recently engaged a cleaner for our house as my reward for reaching a business milestone. I’d never had a cleaner before so researched what was involved and who was available in my area. After meeting with several cleaners, I had a fair picture of what I should expect and engaged someone to come every fortnight.
The big day arrived. The cleaners came, they cleaned and they left in record time. When I went to inspect my sparkling house, instead I found a number of things not cleaned the standard I would expect or simply not cleaned at all. I decided if I was going to pay for a service then I had a right to expect it to be done well.
Before reporting my dissatisfaction, I decided to test whether my expectations were too high, so I asked another cleaner to come the following week . They did a much better job so I decided to keep them on.
I promptly phoned the first cleaner to tell them I wouldn’t need them to return the following week. I had made a list of the things that had caused me to be unsatisfied with their service with the intent of providing client feedback which I hoped would help them in future jobs. Much to my surprise the only conversation that occurred was to be told “Okay, fine” and then the phone was hung up!
I couldn’t imagine receiving a call from a dissatisfied customer and not taking a moment to ask what it was that hadn’t met their expectation. How could I expect to learn and grow in my business if I don’t take the time to listen?
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I can only speculate at what was happening at the other end of the phone. Based on tone of voice, this is my educated guess:
- The cleaner was caught by surprise, maybe she thought she had done a great job.
- She felt defensive and took my call personally.
- She felt uncomfortable asking for further detail, preferring instead to abruptly end the call.
I understand these emotions, however if you have also found yourself shying away from client feedback it is important to note the following:
- Feedback is not a reflection of you as a person, it is a reflection on a product or service.
- Client feedback provides a wonderful learning opportunity.
- Feedback won’t kill you so there is no need to be afraid to ask for it.
- Your business will benefit if you take the time to listen to what your clients want to share…both the happy and the unhappy ones.
Do you shy away from client feedback? Make a commitment this week to actively seek client feedback. You might surprise yourself with the wonderful and interesting things you discover!